Khalifa Fund to nurture Emirati tech entrepreneurs

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development will help to produce a new generation of Emirati tech entrepreneurs, its chairman said.
An initiative to be launched this year aimed at the fast-growing technology sector will encourage and support the growth of small businesses, said Hussain Al Nowais.
From software and app development to gadgets, entrepreneurs can apply for financing, training and support from the fund as it branches out into new areas of the economy in its eighth year.
Innovation and new ideas will be key as the fund looks to enhance the sector in the UAE.
"Tech is going to be a priority. If we get good projects we will fund them all," Mr Al Nowais said.
Discussions have begun with universities around the country to help find "brilliant young men and women" as well as with the UAE's telecoms sector, including the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, to help create the right infrastructure to support technology start-ups, Mr Al Nowais said.
The telecoms operators du and Etisalat are competing fiercely in the small business market which is 250,000 to 300,000 SMEs in the UAE, according to du.
Both have introduced innovations including cloud-based services to woo customers.
The UAE was ranked 36th last year in a world innovation index by Insead, leading the region as its efforts in promoting education and R&D paid off. However, it still lags in creating a more competitive business and regulatory environment, according to the study.
High smartphone use and the popularity of social media in the UAE is encouraging entrepreneurs to build businesses in areas including crowdfunding, e-commerce and online services. But funding issues remain, especially from the lack of a mature venture capital landscape.
A fast-growing online retail sector is still relatively small. A lack of players and a cash-dominated region are holding back its development, according to Aramex.
Last year, Dubai said it would invest Dh4.5 billion to create an innovation hub to attract and support tech companies.
The Khalifa Fund had financed about 800 projects by the end of last year, providing Dh1 billion in loans as well as training, logistics, marketing and systems support.
This year it will speed up approval processes via automating its systems and also provide entrepreneurs with digital tools to help them carry out feasibility studies and create business plans, Mr Al Nowais said.
New legislation for the SME sector is aimed at increasing its contribution to non-oil GDP to 70 per cent from the current 60 per cent level.
Follow The National's Business section on Twitter

How champions are made

7am - Protein shake with oats and fruits
10am - 5-6 egg whites
1pm - White rice or chapati (Indian bread) with chicken
4pm - Dry fruits
7.30pm - Pre workout meal – grilled fish or chicken with veggies and fruits
8.30pm to midnight workout
12.30am – Protein shake
Total intake: 4000-4500 calories
Saidu’s weight: 110 kg
Stats: Biceps 19 inches. Forearms 18 inches


Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Weverton

Defenders: Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Eder Militao , Danilo, Alex Sandro, Alex Telles, Bremer.

Midfielders: Casemiro, Fred, Fabinho, Bruno Guimaraes, Lucas Paqueta, Everton Ribeiro.

Forwards: Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Richarlison, Raphinha, Antony, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Pedro, Rodrygo

The Orwell Prize for Political Writing

Twelve books were longlisted for The Orwell Prize for Political Writing. The non-fiction works cover various themes from education, gender bias, and the environment to surveillance and political power. Some of the books that made it to the non-fiction longlist include: 

  • Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and the Road to War by Tim Bouverie
  • Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me by Kate Clanchy
  • Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
  • Follow Me, Akhi: The Online World of British Muslims by Hussein Kesvani
  • Guest House for Young Widows: Among the Women of ISIS by Azadeh Moaveni

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now


Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

The biog

Favourite hobby: I love to sing but I don’t get to sing as much nowadays sadly.

Favourite book: Anything by Sidney Sheldon.

Favourite movie: The Exorcist 2. It is a big thing in our family to sit around together and watch horror movies, I love watching them.

Favourite holiday destination: The favourite place I have been to is Florence, it is a beautiful city. My dream though has always been to visit Cyprus, I really want to go there.

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

Most Read
Top Videos